Hilary Trumps Donald in First Debate

Clinton and Trump faced off in the first of three Presidential Debates last night.

Allie Cromer, Opinion editor

Yesterday the nation turned it’s attention to the highly anticipated Presidential Debate, the first of three. Many people, especially undecided voters, were hoping the candidates would clearly define their plan to tackle issues that directly affect Americans, like national security and health care.

Most political commentators, on CNN, in the moments leading up to the debate agreed on what the candidates had to do to be successful. Donald Trump had to demonstrate that he possessed the temperament of a president. Hillary Clinton had to show she could connect to the American people and prove that their interests were her top priority.

So did they accomplish these things? Trump, at least in the first 20 minutes, did (surprisingly) possess a different temperament than he has demonstrated at other political events. However as the debate progressed, he grew more agitated. He soon began to interrupt Clinton during her two minutes responses, as well as completely ignore debate moderator Lester Holt’s requests to move on. While this is certainly not an unusual way for a candidate to behave during a presidential debate, it is not the way many of the undecided voters or even his own campaign wanted to see him behave.

Trump addressed his temperament saying, “I think my strongest asset by far is my temperament. I have a winning temperament.” This caused Clinton, and the rest of us, to chuckle. He avoided answering questions, and often claimed that Holt’s information was incorrect. He interrupted Clinton five times, and interjected into her allotted responses 24 times. She, on the other hand, interrupted him zero times, and interjected into his responses five times. Clinton addressed issues like gender and the “Stop and Frisk” police tactics which are significant to many potential voters. She also brought Trump’s documented treatment of women into the discussion to alienate him from female voters. She seemed to contribute to Trump’s decline in temperament by baiting him.

Clinton was on the offensive for most of the night. Early in her campaign, she has been accused of being stiff and unfeeling at most events. Last night she wore a smile for most of the debate, working in some one-liners and even laughing a few times during the back-and-forth. In this way, she did make herself appear more human to voters.

She responded to Trump’s accusation that instead of campaigning and spending time with the American people, she was at home preparing. Her response? “Yes, I did. You know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing.” This earned her resounding applause from an audience who was not supposed to make a noise.

She also utilized the split screen much better than him. She at all times appeared poised and had a calm smile, while he fidgeted, frowned, gulped water, and angrily gripped his podium. This is another sign of his inexperience and her expertise.

Overall, both candidates left voters intrigued, though not satisfied. The next debate promises to be a showdown. Will Trump reveal “the extremely rough” things he held back from saying to Clinton? Can Clinton maintain her undeniable momentum? Find out during the next debate on Sunday, October 9th.